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Loose teeth, bleeding gums when brushing, teeth that are separating – these are all signs of gum disease, something that needs to be addressed as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely the periodontal disease will worsen and you risk losing your natural teeth.
The first stage of gum disease is gingivitis, and that’s the only stage that is reversible. Our dentist in Aventura will examine your gums to ensure they are healthy and able to support your teeth for years to come.
Your healthy smile includes both healthy teeth and healthy gums. The bacteria that builds up in your mouth from the food you eat and what you drink can attack the enamel of your teeth and attack the gum tissue and bone that hold your teeth in place.
You’re not alone. Half of adult Americans have some form of periodontal disease. “Peri” means around and “dontic” means tooth. Periodontal disease is just another way of saying gum disease.
What causes gum disease?
The growth of germs called bacteria cause gum disease. The bacteria are present in plaque, a clear, sticky substance that your mouth produces.
That bacteria feeds on the sugars in the foods you eat and drink and can create toxins and other chemicals. The toxins can irritate your gums, causing them to swell and bleed easily when brushing.
In time, that plaque can harden and build. That hard plaque is called calculus or tartar. This irritates the gums even more and causes them to pull away from teeth.
Things that make you more likely to get gum disease include:
- Having gum disease in your family.
- Not cleaning your teeth well at home and not getting regular dental cleanings.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco. People who use tobacco are much more likely to get gum disease than those who don’t. They also have more serious gum disease that leads to tooth loss and can be hard to treat.
- Eating a diet that is low in vitamins and minerals can weaken your immune system. And it the diet is high in sugary foods and carbohydrates, it can also help plaque grow.
- Having a problem that weakens your immune system, such as a high stress level or a disease like diabetes, AIDS, or leukemia.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
The bacteria in plaque and tartar can erode the tissues and bone that hold teeth in place when it spreads below the gum line.
What Are Common Signs of Periodontal Disease?
Many times, periodontal disease can start as a painless infection with few symptoms. As it advances, one or more of these signs of periodontal disease may crop up:
- gum recession
- Red, puffy or bleeding gums
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Bad breath
- Loose teeth
- Pus around the teeth
If you have any of these symptoms of gum disease, please call Dental Center at Aventura today at (305) 921-0539.
What Are the Types of Gum Disease?
Did you know that the first stage of gum disease is called gingivitis? This is the only stage during which periodontal disease can be reversed with professional dental treatment and good dental hygiene at home.
If the gingivitis goes untreated, it can lead to periodontitis. When the disease progresses, it breaks down the tissues and bones that support your teeth, causing the gums to separate from the teeth. These are called “pockets.” More bacteria gather in the pockets, which leads to further destruction of the gum tissue and bone.
Periodontal disease is the leading cause of tooth loss among adults, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. It has also been linked to other diseases, including diabetes and heart disease.
How is Periodontal Disease Treated?
Most people don’t realize that regular teeth cleaning only polishes the tooth above the gum line. To treat bacteria below the gum line, our periodontist or hygienist in Aventura uses a technique called scaling and root planing to remove plaque and tartar from periodontal pockets and smooth the tooth root to remove bacteria. If needed, an antibiotic can also be applied to the gums to treat infection.
If you suffer with gum disease, you may require more frequent teeth cleanings and periodontal maintenance in order to treat the infected areas and keep the gum disease from advancing. Gum disease is a systemic disease, which means it is only reversible in the gingivitis stage.
If the bone supporting your teeth has been destroyed due to periodontal disease, our dentist or periodontist may recommend a regenerative procedure like a bone graft, tissue graft, or tissue-stimulating proteins to regenerate bone and tissue.
What Can I Do at Home to Prevent Gum Disease?
Step number one in preventing gum disease is good oral hygiene at home. Step number two is to have professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year – more if you require periodontal maintenance. Brushing your teeth after every meal and flossing once a day or more will prevent tartar build-up on your teeth and below your gum line.